From my earliest childhood to my brief spell as a humble Greenpeace canvasser, I have always been acutely sensitive to the plight of endangered species, and never moreso than now that I live in one of the last great rainforests of the world.
As we hurtle ever faster towards our inevitable sterile, Logan’s Run inspired future, we shed species at a rate of approximately one every 20 minutes. Please don’t let the untamed beauty that is the Pacific Tree Octopus be lost; do not let it go the way of the dodo and the snow leopard.
But together we can work to maintain the wild herds of this noble creature. Hunted nearly to extinction for its incomparable beauty, its fate need not be sealed; indeed, it is possible that, with adequate planning and habitat preservation, we could learn to coexist with this most iconic of Cascadian cephalofauna.
Save the Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus has the full story.
Show people that you support the cause of the Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus by placing a Tentacle Ribbon or badge, along with a link to this page, on your website or weblog so that they can learn more. Together, we have the power to build a grass-roots campaign to save the Tree Octopus!
Why It’s Endangered
Although the tree octopus is not officially listed on the Endangered Species List, we feel that it should be added since its numbers are at a critically low level for its breeding needs. The reasons for this dire situation include: decimation of habitat by logging and suburban encroachment; building of roads that cut off access to the water which it needs for spawning; predation by foreign species such as house cats; and booming populations of its natural predators, including the bald eagle and sasquatch. What few that make it to the Canal are further hampered in their reproduction by the growing problem of pollution from farming and residential run-off. Unless immediate action is taken to protect this species and its habitat, the Pacific Northwest tree octopus will be but a memory.
The possibility of Pacific Northwest tree octopus extinction is not an unwarranted fear. Other tree octopus species — including the Douglas octopus and the red-ringed madrona sucker — were once abundant throughout the Cascadia region, but have since gone extinct because of threats similar to those faced by paxarbolis, as well as overharvesting by the now-illegal tree octopus trade.
The history of the tree octopus trade is a sad one. Their voracious appetite for bird plumes having exhausted all the worthy species of that family, the fashionistas moved on to cephalopodic accoutrements during the early 20th Century. Tree octopuses became prized by the fashion industry as ornamental decorations for hats, leading greedy trappers to wipe out whole populations to feed the vanity of the fashionable rich. While fortunately this practice has been outlawed, its effects still reverberate today as these millinery deprivations brought tree octopus numbers below the critical point where even minor environmental change could cause disaster.